Should Saudi King Abdullah invite Netanyahu to Riyadh?

A truth, which all of Israel’s leaders have known for many years, is that the Palestinian right of return does not have to be an obstacle to peace unless they want it to be. Under the pragmatic Arafat’s leadership, the decision was taken to accept that in the event of a genuine and viable two-state solution, the right of return would have to be limited to the territory of the Palestinian state. Though they could not say so in public, Arafat and his leadership colleagues were completely aware this would mean that probably not more than 100,000 refugees would be able to return and that the rest would have to settle for compensation.

Another truth is that Jerusalem does not have to be an obstacle to peace unless Israel’s leaders want it to be. If they don’t want Jerusalem to be divided again, the Arabs will say, “Okay. Let it be an open, undivided city and the capital of two states.”

My point so far is that if Netanyahu did go to Riyadh, he would discover that the Arab peace plan of 2002, subject only to clarifications of the flexibility of the Arab position on the right of return and Jerusalem, actually offers what a rational Israeli government and people would accept with relief.

What would the Arabs and the Palestinians especially have to gain if King Abdullah did invite Netanyahu to Riyadh and he went?

In one scenario, and assuming that most Israelis are not beyond reason (an assumption I do not make), it might unleash what Friedman described as a “huge peace debate in Israel.” And that just might open the door to peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.

In another scenario – continued Israeli rejection of the Arab peace plan of 2002 – it would enable King Abdullah and all of his Arab brothers at leadership level to say to the world, and America especially, something like: “Now you cannot be in any doubt about what the obstacle to peace is – Zionism. If you really want peace, you must now play your part and use the leverage you have to call and hold Zionism to account for its crimes.”

If that didn’t mobilize support in the Western world for an acceptable measure of justice for the Palestinians and peace for all, nothing ever will.

Footnote:

Some readers will say that a genuine and viable two-state solution, even if it was possible, is unacceptable because it would not provide the Palestinians with enough justice. My response is quite simple. One state for all is by far the best solution for all; but because of the reality of the existence of a nuclear-armed Zionist entity, the two-state solution is the best deal the Palestinians are ever likely to get.

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

2 comments on this post.
  1. ubah musa wudil:

    I hope the Saudis will do everything possible to convince the Israelis that peace proposal put forward by the Arabs was indeed harmless. That Israel will be secure and safer. You cannot expect a full cooperation from any partner that does not feel secure. On the other hand, Israel should have an open mind and put real Ikhlaas in its intentions.

    We all need peace, but a lasting peace is one where justice is done to both parties.

    Ubah

  2. latheef farook:

    Saudi rulers remain detested all over the world.How could Muslims or for that any bdecent being respect these tyrants who collaborate with Bush and Blair to destroy Iraq and other Muslim countries.

    Shame

Leave a comment